Whether intentional or accidental, we all have an atmosphere in our home. Mine does. Yours does. Some homeschoolers put a lot of thought into their homeschool atmosphere. The concept has never even crossed the mind of others.
The atmosphere will include a wide variety of things including:
Each choice we make in these areas works together to create an atmosphere. There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer as to what kind of an atmosphere to have in a home. Every family is different so every home atmosphere is going to be different. I think the important part is being aware of it and being proactive.
How Do You Describe An Atmosphere?
Which words would describe my homeschool atmosphere?
Mine are fairly easy to figure out since our homeschool atmosphere spills over into the things I write about my website. Words that would describe our atmosphere include:
Someone else’s might look totally different. Another family might embrace:
- contained chaos
Our atmosphere is what works for our little family of three creatives. If we were a family of eight athletic and science-focused people, our list would be completely different.
The Message We Send With Our Homeschool Atmosphere
Whether we think about it or not, the atmosphere in our home sends powerful messages to our children. For example, I have made a point of doing everything I can to encourage Caroline’s strong creative and imaginative bent. At various times I’ve rearranged parts of the house in order to accommodate her creativity. I’ve put up with sprawling messes far longer than I wanted to in order to give her the time and space to explore and learn. I’ve communicated to her through both word and deed that I know what is important to her and I support it.
Let’s look at it from a different perspective. If you have a child who soaks up LEGOs, STEM, building and experimenting, but you offer no place for her to do this on a regular basis, you might be communicating to her that this doesn’t matter. Or if you complain every time she sets up some elaborate idea and wants to leave it up, you’re communicating to her that her interests and gifts are inconvenient or unimportant.
One mom might put minimal effort in to keeping the house picked up because she wants to communicate to her children that they are free to create messes and play. Another mom might put a lot of effort into keeping the house picked up because she wants to communicate to her children that freedom to create comes from routine and lack of chaos. Both are communicating something to their children.
I think it is important to communicate these values to our children not just through our deeds, but also verbally. Do you explain to your children why you do what you do around the house? What might seem obvious to you might not be obvious to your child if she thinks differently than you. You might feel you are doing something out of love (giving her a clean home), but she might see it as undermining the activities that are most important to her (LEGO construction). It’s important to communicate and not assume.
Homeschool Atmosphere Printable
If you’ve never thought about your homeschool atmosphere or want to fine-tune yours, I’ve created a printable you can download and use. There are four versions that coordinate with my homeschool planners. Jot some ideas down, make some plans, or simply reflect on how you want to change or improve your family’s homeschool atmosphere. Whatever you decide, make it a wonderful experience for your unique family!
This is part of my 10 Days of Homeschool Encouragement series.